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By Rob Carrick

I hate bargaining for stuff, but it works. In fact, it's almost negligence to buy certain products and services without asking for a better deal. Which ones, specifically? Check out this blog post, where various personal finance writers describe the most memorable deals they received just by asking.

My own suggestion is that you negotiate your telecom plan. Call your provider, ask to speak to someone in customer retention and tell them you want a better deal. It helps if you're willing to leave for a competitor. You may also be able to negotiate a lower credit card interest rate.

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Rob's top web links

How to save $6,000 a year in one move
> I love cars, but I have to admit that dumping your vehicle is a good way to save money. By the way, that's $6,000 (U.S.), and the amount applies to a 10-year-old car. You could save more by getting rid of a newer vehicle. Now for some thoughts on retaining value so you can resell your car at a decent price.

Do this to stay on top of your finances
> A good thought here – pick a day of the month to be your "personal finance day," where you catch up on all your money tasks. Things can fall through the cracks when you're randomly attentive to your money.

How to survive an airport layover without spending money
> Plan in advance to amuse yourself on a layover so you can save money for your destination.

My Millennial Life
> That's the title of a documentary about millennials that you should watch if you want to understand what today's young adults are up against in today's economy. I watched it and thought it was really well done.

And the world's cheapest flight is …
> Fun trivia for travellers. Also check out the most expensive flights.

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How much should you leave on the church collection plate?
> Scripture is referenced here, but the answer is very modern day.

Today's featured financial tool
Check out this ranking to see how your bank's online services compare with the competition. It's interesting to see that online banks Tangerine and President's Choice Financial don't score especially well.

Ask Rob

The question: "I am a retiree. I have 600,000 in cash after I liquidated my investments two months ago because of uncertainty in the markets. Where should I invest now?

My reply: This question was sent in March. Since then, the stock markets have rallied dramatically. I point this out to highlight the frustrations investors will inevitably face if they try to time market ups and downs. A better approach is to design a portfolio with an appropriate mix of stocks, bonds and cash and leave it alone. This is where you should invest now.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Questions and answers are edited for length.

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How to get the best deal on currency exchange.

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